Skin Reactions to Citrus Fruit

If you notice that your skin becomes red, inflamed and itchy after you touch or eat citrus fruit, you are most likely experiencing allergic contact dermatitis or a pollen-related allergic reaction. Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin rash that forms after your skin comes into direct contact with a substance that typically doesn't cause any reaction in most people. If you develop a rash around your mouth after eating certain citrus fruits, you may be experiencing pollen-food syndrome. Make an appointment with your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis is a localized allergic reaction in the skin after you touch a substance that your body has an allergic reaction to. Certain foods, such as citrus fruit, can irritate the skin, causing inflammation that leads to a rash. Shortly after you touch citrus fruit, you may notice bumpy, red, swollen rash appear within minutes, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This condition is treated by washing the affected areas of the skin with soap and water and applying hydrocortisone cream. Stop eating citrus fruits until you see your doctor.

Pollen-Food Syndrome

If you are allergic to grass pollen, you may develop severe itching in your mouth, in your throat or on your lips shortly after eating oranges or tomatoes. This type of skin reaction is not considered a food allergy but is the result of confusion in the immune system. Your immune system mistakes certain proteins in the citrus fruit as pollen from grass and releases chemicals in the local area to fight against the citrus proteins. You may also develop other pollen allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose, nasal congestion or sneezing. Pollen-food syndrome is treated through avoidance and immunotherapy, according to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Hives
Hives may appear after you eat certain citrus fruits if you have an allergic reaction. Hives are raised, itchy, welts that form on the surface of the skin because of increased histamine. Histamine is a chemical released during an allergic reaction that can cause skin inflammation, which can trigger hives.

Consideration

Hives can form anywhere on your body and migrate for no reason. Hives may be a sign of a severe allergic reaction that needs to be evaluated by a medical professional. If you develop hives along with facial swelling, shortness of breath and an increased heart rate, call 911 for emergency assistance.

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